Blue Ridge Southern Railroad (BLU), a subsidiary of Watco Transportation Services (WTS), has reached a definitive agreement with the Norfolk Southern to purchase three branch lines in North Carolina that feed into its terminal in Asheville. The lines are the T-Line, which runs west of Asheville; the W-Line, which runs south of Asheville and the TR-Line, which branches off the W-Line south of Asheville. BLU could begin operations by July 26, 2014.
BLU will operate 91.8 miles of track and will initially operate with 10 locomotives, seven SD40’s and three GP39’s.
“The Watco team is excited to go to work with our great partners Norfolk Southern to deliver quality service to our customers,” said Watco Chief Executive Officer Rick Webb.
BLU will immediately begin the hiring process to ensure uninterrupted service to the rail customers. A series of meetings were held and are scheduled to continue for WTS and BLU leaders to brief current NS employees on the transaction and explain the process for them to apply to become members of the BLU Team.